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Can’t I Blame Someone Else? – Part 2



Gary Thomas, in “Sacred Marriage,” said “We are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against.”

Sin is an archery term that means “to miss the mark.” If the arrow is 20 feet away from the target, that is a “sin.” If the arrow is 1/2 inch away from the target, that is also a “sin.” Sin is anything that misses the mark of God’s holy and perfect standard. This is why we are all “wretched sinners.” None of us can live sinless and perfect lives. Only Jesus was able to do that.

  • If someone sins against me, is it ok in God’s sight for me to take revenge and do something nasty back to that person?

As humans, we often think that if someone sins against us first, then we are justified to sin against that person in return – or at the very least, THINK evil things toward that person. That is not how God looks at sin. God hates all sin.He does not give us a free pass to sin when we are sinned against – or at any other time. He desires and commands us as believers to walk in the power of His grace and His Spirit so that we respond without sin, even when  we are sinned against. We cannot do this in our own strength, we must be filled with God’s Spirit to have power and victory over sin.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. I John 3:14-15

  • Is God responsible for making me sinful?

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15

God didn’t create people in a sinful state. He created Adam and Eve in sinless perfection. They chose to sin in Genesis 3 when they ate the fruit that God had instructed them not to eat. God did not “make us this way.” We cannot blame God for our sin. We all choose to sin and God holds us individually accountable for our choices when we are able to understand the difference between right and wrong.

  • Can I blame Satan for my sin?

Satan is able to tempt us to sin. But we ultimately have the choice whether to sin or not ourselves. Before we know Christ, we sin because we are sinners. We are slaves to sin. We are spiritually dead and we have no power to have victory over sin. But Satan does not cause us to sin. God held Adam and Eve accountable for their sin even though Satan deceived Eve. God will hold Satan accountable for his sin, too. He will be eternally condemned. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:10

Check out James 1:13-15 again. It is our own evil desire that drags us away and entices us into sin. Ultimately, we will stand before God and be held accountable by Him for every sinful thought, word and deed if we do not belong to Christ. He will not ignore sin. There will be perfect and righteous justice against all sin.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. II Corinthians 5:10

But he (Jesus) has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:26-28

Once we have Christ as our Savior and Lord, He gives us the power of God’s Spirit to be able to walk in victory over sin. We can still choose to sin, but we long to walk in obedience to God out of thanksgiving and gratefulness for all that Jesus has done for us. We hate sin more and more because God hates sin and we love God. We don’t want to grieve His heart anymore and His grace is able to give us the power to walk in obedience to God. When we belong to God, He causes us to become more and more like Jesus. We begin to desire what He desires and we begin to look more and more like Him and to live more and more like He did. We don’t reach total sinless perfection in this life. But Jesus has the power to enable us to walk in victory over sin. We don’t have to be slaves to sin any more! WOOHOO!

That is the great news of Romans 6-8! For a detailed explanation of these concepts, check out Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life.”

  • Am I responsible for the sins of other people?

I am NOT responsible for my husband’s sin (or for the sins of other grown adults). He is responsible and accountable to God for that himself.

Some women think that because I ask women to own their own sin, that I am saying women are responsible for “all of the problems in a marriage.”

NO!!!!!!  Not at all! (Again, please refer to James 1:13-15.)

– We are responsible for our sin, our wrong motives, our disobedience against God’s Word, our obedience to God and our spiritual growth in Christ. We can make it more tempting for our husbands to sin when we sin in certain ways. We can set “stumbling blocks” before them. Or we can make it easier for our husbands to hear God’s voice when we obey God ourselves. But each person makes his/her own choices. (This would also be true for husbands.)

Each individual will stand before God to give an account for himself or herself. In fact, we will answer for “every careless word spoken.” We will also answer for the hidden motivations of our hearts.

But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

We can create a stumbling block that can be something that makes someone else trip. We are responsible for not causing another person to stumble into sin.

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14:3 (The chapter of Romans 14 is all about this topic!)

– It is possible for someone to lead children into sin. That person will be held accountable by God.

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly (humble) position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! Matthew 18:3-7

  • I am responsible for MY sin and MY obedience to God.

The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them. Ezekiel 18:20

There is none righteous, no, not one. Romans 3:10

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Romans 6:23

  • Our sin is primarily against God.  He is the One we hurt and offend the most.

“Against You and You alone have I sinned…” Psalm 51:4 (David repenting to God of his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband.)


The only way we can be righteous (be made right with God) is for us to receive, by faith, the gift of Jesus’ death on our behalf and His Lordship – we receive His grace. He laid down His life for us, now we lay down our lives for Him, giving up our own will and our desires, seeking His will and His desires. We give up being on the throne of our lives, and we place Jesus on the throne of our lives, giving Him full control. Then His righteousness is credited to our account, and when God looks at us, He sees His Son’s holy perfection. (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 6-8)

God allows me to decide how much I will submit to Him and how much of His Spirit I will allow in my life and how much control I will surrender to Him. Do I only want a trickle of Him, or do I want Niagra Falls? That is totally up to me. Of course, if I belong to Him, I will want more and more of Him. I am responsible to seek to grow in Christ and to desire Him more and more.

Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6

I must get rid of my pride in order to receive God’s grace, or God sees me as His enemy. The proud don’t think they need help or grace from God. They think they can handle things on their own. They often lift themselves above other and may even exalt themselves above God, as I used to in my heart. This is a very dangerous place to be! Total humility before God is the key to our ability to approach God and receiving His grace. If I hang on to pride, I am at war with God, Himself.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:7-10

  • I cannot change my husband or anyone else.
  • I cannot force anyone to come to Christ. Jesus, Himself, does not do this.
  • I cannot take responsibility for another person’s sin on my shoulders.
  • I cannot make anyone obey God. God gives all of us free will.
  • I cannot make my husband or anyone else love me.
  • I cannot stop my husband from leaving if he decides to. The more I try to force him to stay, the more likely he will be to go. (I Corinthians 7)
  • I cannot keep my husband (or anyone else) from sinning in his behavior or in his thoughts. Apart from God’s power, I can’t even keep myself from sinning. Who do I think I am that I would be qualified or appointed to try to keep my husband from sinning?
  • I cannot change my husband’s personality or priorities.
  • God changes people, not me.


I can influence my husband  (A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage), but my husband answers to God for his sin and his obedience or lack of obedience to God. He also answers to God for his stewardship of being in the position of spiritual authority in the marriage and family.

I can obey God myself and abide in the power of Christ. I focus on His Word to me, humbling myself before Him, what He desires me to do, keeping my heart pure before Him, confessing any sin in my life, allowing Him access to the darkest corners of my soul and living in total submission to Christ. Then I do all I can not to be a stumbling block and to make it easier for my husband to hear God’s voice. I am cooperating with God and doing things His way, seeking His will and His glory in my husband’s life and in our marriage.

I trust Him in His sovereignty to deal with my husband and other people. He will repay and hold others accountable for sin against me. Yes, there may be times I may need to confront my husband or others about their sin.  And there may be times I need to leave if I or my children are not safe (I Corinthians 7). But ultimately, either the person who sinned against me will pay for his/her own sin in hell one day (which I REALLY do NOT want to happen), or they will receive the mercy, forgiveness and grace Jesus offers to them on the cross and Jesus will pay that sin debt. There may also be earthly consequences for sin, as well. How I long for everyone to find the blood of Jesus to cleanse each of us from our sin and to give us peace with God and peace with ourselves and with others.

Justice will be served. Punishment will be given against all sin. Either people will receive the punishment they deserve for their own sins, or they will receive Jesus’ gift of taking our punishment for our sins in our place and they will turn away from their sin, turn to Christ and be transformed to be like Jesus as believers. 

God is able to open blinded spiritual eyes in ways that I cannot. I don’t have that power. But God is able to draw people to Himself through the power of His Spirit working in them. My responsibility is to love God, to seek to please and obey Him, to be filled with His Spirit, to grow in Christ, to love others with His love and to share His truth in love. I trust God with the rest.

Christ in me, the hope of glory!

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:12-29


What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

What is Godly Femininity?

Are Women Spiritually/Morally Superior to Men?

But I Am a GOOD Person! – We may think this, but only God is good according to Christ!

15 thoughts on “Can’t I Blame Someone Else? – Part 2

  1. Reblogged this on Peaceful Single Girl and commented:

    Who is responsible for my sin? God? Satan? The person who upset me? My parents? I invite you to check out our discussion on Peacefulwife today. This is a foundational spiritual concept that is critical for us to understand our responsibilities vs the responsibilities of God and others.

  2. Julie,
    You are most welcome. I think sometimes that it is fundamental stuff like this that if we don’t understand it, we can end up in a big old mess!

    I’m glad this was a blessing to you. 🙂

  3. Hi April,
    Great post with lots of meat; I am going to have to read it through again because this is an area that really challenges victimhood and blameshifting.

    I wanted to also add that additional scriptures indicate that we can cause other adults to stumble, such as 1 Corinthians 8:9 ESV / 18
    But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

    Corinthians 8:13 ESV / 71
    Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

    My understanding (which I arrived at somewhat grudgingly, since the flesh likes to blame others) is that God will hold us accountable for our choice to yield to sin but He will also hold accountable the one who causes any person to stumble into sin. So those who say things like ” Let’s lie in wait and waylay some innocent soul” are guilty but those who agree to go along with it are also guilty. That would also suggest to me that the shrewd character Jonadab, who counseled Absalom on how to lure Tamar into his bedroom and who no doubt knew the outcome of that scenario, will not be held guiltless at the judgement. No doubt Jonadab knew it was wrong but saw advantage in being aligned with a prince of Israel and so justified helping the King’s son get what he wanted though it was evil.

    It is interesting that in the OT, where it records that Satan stood up against Israel and incited King David to number the fighting men, that when this act of disobedience was all said and done, it was David that God held accountable for the sin, although the people under his reign paid dearly for his sin as well.

    1 Chronicles 21:1-30 ESV / 6
    Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” But Joab said, “May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword.

    The Lord’s Judgment of David’s Sin 2 Samuel 24:10

    10 But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer[e] you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three[f] years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”15 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 16 And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

    Interestingly, The same incident being described in 2 Samuel as in 1 Chronicles describes the Lord as being angry with Israel and inciting David. That makes for some interesting doctrinal discussions that would put down the mistaken idea that satan somehow has a form of sovereignty that allows him to act against believers without God’s permission and to do as he pleases. “24 Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah”. Since we know from scripture that God is just, that the very hairs of our head are numbered and that not a sparrow falls to the ground without his knowledge, and we know also that God allowed satan to sift Peter like wheat, we know then, that there is no injustice in God, partiality or shadow of turning. The only righteous conclusion is that whatever He does is just and He is just when He judges. It must have been a painful and unpleasant experience for Peter to be so sifted, but it almost seems that satan acts like maggots that infest a wound; they are gross and vile but when they are done, the rotten stuff is consumed. Even the evil one is made to serve God and can only go to the end of his chain, as someone has said .

    Gonna sign off now before this becomes a tome. April, thank you for taking on such a challenging subject with this excellent post, and for giving us commenters to chance to add our two cents worth ( or so, lol ). Our flesh prefers its excuses to the truth but these strongholds must be torn down for people to really walk with God in Spirit and truth.

    1. Patricia,

      Thank you for mentioning being a stumbling block! I added that to the post. I definitely don’t want to leave that out. Yes, if I am purposely doing something to cause a brother to stumble, that is sin that I own.

      Thank you for all of the scripture you shared and for sharing what God has shown you.

      There really is no room for us to blame shift before God. Of course, if anyone sinned against us, God will hold them accountable. But we are also accountable ourselves for our responses and our own sin and obedience. This seems overwhelming at first, but it is actually very freeing not to be dependent on others, but to be simply still before God, accepting our own responsibility and accountability and then we can humbly receive the great, unfathomable gift of Grace that God offers to those who are willing to repent.

      Thank you!

  4. Princess,

    People who are in positions of spiritual authority will be held accountable for what they do with their authority. Yes. The post by a minister at my church I respect greatly, Spiritual Authority, describes that greater accountability that husbands, parents, those in leadership positions in the church, government and businesses will have when they face God.

    To whom much has been given, much will be required. That is a sobering thought. A weight that I feel every time I write a post or comment. How I long to honor God with every single word and to handle scripture rightly. How I long to point people to Christ and the truth of His Word, not to any human wisdom.

    42The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

    47“The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12

    1. Princess,
      Thank you so much for praying for me. How I long for God to empower me to be faithful and to do nothing but bring great glory and honor to Him. How I long for Him to pour through me to pour out His love, truth and healing to many.

      This is not an easy job. I can’t do it at all in my own strength. I am totally dependent on God. Sometimes, this ministry can be spiritually exhausting. There is such a great spiritual battle going on in the hearts and souls and minds of women (and men). I appreciate your prayers and the prayers of others so very much.

      Please pray that I might greatly decrease and that God might greatly increase. Please pray for His will, His purposes, His power, His message, His truth, His love, His compassion, His power and His healing to be accomplished and showcased here.

      And please pray that God might raise up more workers because the fields are so ripe unto harvest. I certainly cannot do all of the work alone!

      Much love, my sweet sister!

  5. Princess,

    I know! This post ended up being so much longer. I guess I could have just included references, but the scripture is so powerful! I decided to include it all. Such a big topic.

    I often do little comments every so often myself. I have children, too! I definitely understand. 🙂

  6. April, one thing that was really helpful and revelatory to me was the realization that when Jesus came to earth in our likeness, and become a human being, yet without sin, He was in fact, a living example of what WE would look like without sin. He is our template for what the normal state of a human being would be before the fall and how that human being would respond when confronted with evil. We respond out of what is in us and what we are made of. It had to be the Holy Spirit’s work on me for me to see this. Previously, I had rationalized that I acted the way I did because of how I’d suffered at the hands of others, in the form of cruelty, neglect and abuse. It dawned on me in a moment of light, that Jesus had also been abused. The hideousness mistreatment, humiliation and injustice He suffered would be enough to provoke anyone to committing retributive murder in return but that wasn’t His response. He prayed for God to forgive them because in their blindness they were like animals who had no idea what they were doing. By sheer grace and a gift of heavenly logic, I was able to divide the wheat from the tares in terms of what was truth and what was sin justifying excuse making and blame shifting by checking to see if that response was present in Christ’s response to injustice, and if it wasn’t, to rank it in it’s proper place, in the sin file. I needed that revelation because truthfully, when you are hurt, you feel justified in how you respond. It’s that warp of sin in our nature that makes wrong seem right, and it’s even harder to be honest with yourself when you have a horse in that particular race! But by looking to Jesus and His modeling what a sinless person would be like, I could cut through all the bull and spin doctoring I’d been doing when the flesh had the upper hand and see clearly. It’s a discipline I need to mindfully practice because when I don’t, my flesh quickly gains the throne and then it can be a very long battle to overcome.

    1. Patricia,
      This is so powerful!!! I am thrilled about how God has worked so much healing in your life. One day, I would love to hear more about your story if you would like to share. 🙂 God gave you such clarity. I love this! Thank you very much for sharing. I know your comment will bless so many others.

  7. I think this came at the right timing for me although I need to reread as my mind is on multiple things at the moment. Ill share my evening, my husband & I have been planning our anniversary for 2 yrs which is this friday, we were unable to be together last yr. Anywho we have come into a challenge as no one wants to babysit & it got me really down. My mom refused because his parents never take the kids so I always fall back to her because she has always been reliable & trustworthy when i need/ask. Long story short in my frustration I started blaming his parents & my husband said “everytime something doesnt go your way you always start blaming everyone else. We have kids so were gonna have to figure something else out.” I get the feeling God was speaking through my husband than but I didnt realize it til I read through the comments here. I prayed & left it in Gods hands. I think I need to start listening to my husbands words a little better & also work on self control when im upset.

    1. Nicole,

      I think this is a great opportunity to trust in the sovereignty of God and to follow your husband’s wisdom and leadership. I love that he accepts the situation and wants to look for other solutions. Sounds like God is leading you through your husband, to me. 🙂

      Much love to you! Praying for wisdom for you and your husband and for God to bring glory to Himself through this situation. 🙂

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